My whole life I have always ponder religion, politics, social issues, and race. So much influence around us at times makes it hard to figure out who or what to believe. The things your family and friends say to the information you hear on the news, all comes from different perspectives. This is my journey………
When I was younger I grew up following Christianity. The religion shown to me by members of my family. Many of the values and beliefs from Christianity I still live by today and pass on to my children. But as I got older I began to stray away from the religion as my curiosity grew. I had millions of questions about certain aspects of the religion that could not be answered, and I did not like how some issues were portrayed. So, I went down a path where I began to lose my religion. I became rebellious towards all religions. This thought process led me to question everything I have ever learned. I studied other religions, followed several “conspiracy theories”, and even questioned the existence of God and myself. I lost my spirituality and oneness with the world and the Universe around me. I wanted to awaken everyone I knew to the knowledge I discovered. I thought what I learned was a great secret that many did not know. I thought that sharing that information would make me feel whole and complete. That I was on a mission to help others awaken to the forgotten knowledge. But as I continue to grow myself I found that believing in something was just as important as having knowledge as well. For me I realized that the Universe is so vast and complex that there had to be something out there in existence that I was unware of and could not fully comprehend. I would go into deep thought about the power of belief. How could I believe that I love my children, my family, my friends, but not believe that there is something far bigger than us. Love defies all logic and reasoning. Yet I still and will always believe in love. It is one of the most powerful forces in all of creation. So, if I believe in love which makes no rational sense, so why would I not believe in God? There was a point in time that I would question someone for following a religion. But now I question myself for even thinking about that. If someone wants to believe in something that is bigger than themselves, then there is no foul in that. I think we all should believe in something. There are too many things out there that we do not understand. We are all looking for answers to questions. We are all looking for a righteous or divine path to follow. We all are capable of making a choice. Just because I don’t agree with another person’s choice does not mean I can’t see things from their perspective. It does not mean I can’t respect and appreciate their view. My journey to enlightenment brought me to this point, to accept and respect everyone’s opinion. Let all the negative emotions go. Now there is not a day that goes by that I don’t pray to God or the Universe. Though I still do not claim a religion I do embrace my spirituality as much as possible.
When I was young I thought I should be a democrat because all of the “black” people I knew were part of that political party. But when I registered to vote I put down that I was “Independent”. I always had trouble with politics. I find it hard to vote for anyone because I do not personally know the candidates. I may agree with them on some issues but not all the issues. I struggled with the idea of why we even have a government at all. Then I learned some historical facts about the US government and other governments around the world which sent me down a path of rebellion. I was angered by some of the truths I discovered. I had at one point in time wanted to vote for Obama, but I was out of the country during the election and I never sent in my absentee ballot. Then a couple years later I was relieved that I didn’t. He was not the person I thought he was, nor are any of the politicians. Over the years I grew annoyed with politics to beyond the point of frustration. Then it hit me, “Why am I letting this bother me so much?”. I thought my rage was being fueled by anger because I felt that I was lied to by the establishment, then I realized that whether my anger was justified or not it is still anger. A negative emotion. One that I needed to let go. As of now I still read about politics, politicians, and the issues. But I try my hardest to not let any negative emotions consume me. There are somethings I agree with and somethings I do not. I do not agree with everything governments do but I understand the need for them at this point in human history. On my journey to enlightenment I have come to accept the things I cannot change and change the things I can. I cannot change the government nor the way it operates but I can change my perspective of it. I can obtain more knowledge about it. And I can make a difference in the local governments, either through voting or participating.
When I was younger I remember the OJ Simpson trial. I remember the kids in my class who were “white” thought OJ was guilty. The kids who were “black”, to include myself, thought he was innocent. Looking back, I laugh at how ridiculous that notion was. To think someone was guilty or innocent because of their “racial” skin color classification given by the US government. We were kids and we knew nothing about the justice system of this country. Nothing about the justice system of that county in which the trail was taking place. In fact, we didn’t know shit about anything. Other than the rhetoric that was spew by people and the media. Growing up I was told I wasn’t “black” enough by other “black” people and “white” people. That bothered me so much. I understood that kids would do say anything sometimes just to make fun of another person but that same message continued to be told to me even at my current age. If I am dark skin like the other person who is “black”, then how am I not “black”? I received prejudice from people across the “racial” spectrum. I remember being so angered by this, to be judge by the world based on the physical description of my body. If a “white” person told me that I would have called them racist. But if a “black” person called me that then I would question myself. Wondering if I was not being “black” enough. Questioning what it even meant to be “black”. As I grew older I was beginning to become angry with social injustice and equality. I was mad about how certain issues were portrayed. But once I began to dig deep and analyze the whole picture and the whole process I realized that a lot of issues were more complexed than what it appeared to be. I was viewing things from a limited perspective in which I was not aware of on a conscious level. Every case was its own and needed to be viewed separately from another case. How could you judge someone’s intentions and have called them a racist? Were that person’s actions based on hate? How could you ever truly know? We all have social bias that we display on an unconscious level every day. Does that make you a racist, hateful person? These questions were hard for me to come to terms with. To realize that there was and never will be an absolute answer to them. And in looking at these issues I had to question myself if I was doing the same thing to others. And I was, and I still do. I am a walking hypocrite. I pre-judge others all the time. I do not do it from a place with bad intentions or hate. But it is something that I do. In fact, I did it to someone that was not deserving of it and I almost missed out on how amazing they are. So, on my journey to enlightenment I have come to realize to let it all go. I understand that there are things that happen in the world that seem unfair and may be unfair at its core. I understand that we must all grow and evolve to eliminate these issues. I understand that I may not know the whole truth about an issue and I should reserve my judgment before making one. I also understand that I do not need to make a judgement on every social issue I read. That I do not have to pick and choose a side to stand on. I can remain neutral. Not everything that happens in the world garners my attention. I can let go of any of the negative emotions that may arise and move on with my life.
My journey to enlightenment is a never, ending journey. Life is eternal and so am I. I will continue to grow and evolve. I write this today not to persuade or argue with anyone. I write this for myself. I write this to share my experience throughout my 31-year journey. I write this as a way of releasing the frustration, anger, and tension I had built up within myself. Throughout my journey I have traveled across the different points of perspective only to realize that it was never about how I saw something but whether or not I saw it. Meaning it’s not about where I stand but am I able to see it all from where I stand. I want to be a more positive and less negative person. I want to see issues from all points of views. I want to accept and respect everyone even if I do not agree with their opinion. I want to increase my conscious awareness and obtain more knowledge. I want to be a better person. I want to be filled with love and discard the hate. I want to let it all go and appreciate every moment. I want to be a follower and a leader. I want to become enlightened.